The New Iron Fist?
In the 2016 NFL Draft rookie class, the defensive line/pass rusher corps is full of possibilities. In fact, one of the most exciting of them is former Oklahoma State Cowboy defender, Emmanuel Ogbah. The junior averaged just under a sack a game this past season (12.5 sacks in 13 games), forcing three fumbles, notching 42 tackles, while chipping in on 21 assists. I reviewed his 2015 games against Central Michigan, Ole Miss, Baylor and Kansas State to see what skills and attributes this play maker will bring to the next level. These are my findings after that tape study:
DE/OLB- Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State 6′ 4″ 273 lbs.
By all accounts, Ogbah is a raw player and at this stage of his game one who doesn’t use a variety of true pass rushing moves to set up the blockers lined across from him. He tends to let the offensive lineman guide him to the outside, whereas, it might be quicker to just go right through him. Additionally, Ogbah displays a bad habit of standing up to quickly, lacks explosive hips and lets blockers into his body far too often. The former Cowboy needs to work on anchoring a spot, while becoming more flexible, in order to move around the line of scrimmage with more fluidity. Finally, his motor leaves a little to be desired as he can drift when the play isn’t showing signs of coming his way.
In my view, his biggest asset is his ability to play up and down the line from either the left or right side at defensive tackle, defensive end or even as an outside backer in a 3-4 scheme. He is comfortable lining up in a four, three or two-point stance, while using an equal blend of power, speed and leverage. The former Cowboy has a powerful, physical style, which often bullies offensive linemen with his big, meaty paws. In fact, swatting passes is another weapon in his arsenal (had four passes deflected in 2015). Ultimately, Ogbah is a better pass rusher than a run stopper and does a great job kicking inside to get to the quarterback on passing downs. When asked, Ogbah drops back into coverage quickly and even lined up defending the slot receiver on occasion. His immense athleticism was on display at the Combine when he ran a 4.63 40-yard dash, jumped 35.5″ in the vertical and 121″ in the broad. This also shows up when he spins away from blockers, while moving up and down the line of scrimmage using his amazing balance.
The former Cowboy might be one of his classes best pass rushers, but will need to become more effective against the run. From a fantasy perspective, his value will be greatly tied to the defensive scheme he gets drafted into. Personally, I like him better as a defensive lineman than as an outside linebacker, but he could excel in either role with the proper development. Don’t look to draft him before the second to last round in your rookie draft.
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.